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TOPIC: My path to CAPM

My path to CAPM 3 years 2 months ago #25203

  • Pierre-Alexandre Pascone
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Here is a summary of my journey to getting my CAPM. I hope it can help other people on their journeys.

I work as a process engineer, but I was put in charge of big capital expenditure projects. I had never considered project management before, but after reading about the PMI and PMBOK and ways to efficiently manage projects, I though it would be something interesting to explore for my career. I brought all this up to my superiors during my yearly evaluation and they highly encouraged me to pursue it as my professional development. Having less than 2 years experience in managing projects, I thought I would start with the CAPM certification as my experience grows, with the goal to go for my PMP in 2022.

In doing research on various PM trainings, I found a very detailed review of 5 such sites. The author highly recommended prepcast, so I used their 'expert judgement'. I bought the PM Prepcast in June 2020. With the downloadable Lesson Plan, I went to the column that said CAPM and quickly identified all the videos that said 'Yes'. Of those videos, I filtered out all the ones that didn't have 'Required' written under 'Pass your PMP before 1 Jan 2021' . I did this to really get down to what I thought were the most important videos in the entire list to save me some time; if you have ample time, I highly recommend you watch everything (predictive). I was fitting in studying time between working a full-time job + overtime and being a parent with 2 small kids, so the amount of time I could dedicate to watching the videos was limited. I personally found the videos were adequate for delivering material, but a bit slow at times. They still did the job of teaching me everything I needed to know about this brand new topic. Whenever I think about project management now, my inner monologue takes on the voice and cadence of Cornelius Fichtner.

When I watched the videos, I would take down notes of whatever I thought was relevant. I never used the downloadable podcast feature because I always wanted to be able to take down notes as I watched. I did a few hours of video a week and eventually got through all the ones I wanted to do by mid-October. I booked my exam for the morning of December 14th. I compiled all my notes, which came out to 233 pages. Then....I got completely swamped at work and had absolutely no time to study for my exam that was quickly approaching.

With a week to go before my exam, I read quickly through my notes a few times and started preparing for the exam. On December 11th, I purchased the CAPM exam simulator with 650 practice questions. I did the first exam and got 65.3% with a great big FAIL posted right there in front of my face. I was deflated! To cheer myself up, I searched online for 'passing grade to CAPM' and 'exam simulator vs CAPM exam' to try to find something to make me feel better. I finally found someone on reddit who said that they tried a bunch of different exam simulators on various websites and the others were super easy while Prepcast was very difficult, even more than the actual exam. They said they couldn't get above 73% on prepcast, and were getting 85%+ on other sites. This really eased my stress level because now I knew that the prepcast exam simulator was really testing me and if I could success with them, the actual exam would be a piece of cake. I did the rest of the exams over the weekend and got similar marks (60.7, 56, and 68). I then used the 'my statistics' feature on the exam simulator to search for my weakest domains, and then I did quick timed sessions of 10 questions on just those domains; I especially loved this feature because it allowed me to focus my studying. I read my notes another time and focused more on the general description of each knowledge group and called it so that I could get a good night's rest.

I went to my exam today, feeling prepared, and completely rocked it. I got 'above target' on 12 of the 13 categories, and 'target' on the last one. I am very happy to have my CAPM certification!

Summary of my lessons learned:
*Don't leave studying to the last minute
*Take notes while watching the videos. Don't just listen to them while you're driving to work to try to save time getting through the videos.
*Absolutely purchase the exam simulator. It didn't just prepare me for the content, but also the duplication of the overall testing atmosphere helps
*I did not have a chance to read the PMBOK guide, but it probably would have helped.
*I believe my job managing projects helped a lot. I think if you are not in a position to be currently managing projects, you may need to study more.

I know everyone's journey is different, but I hope reading about mine will help you on yours. I couldn't have done it without PrepCast and I'll look to them for PMP studying in the future.

Thank you,
The following user(s) said Thank You: Melanie Reichard, Sarah Harrell

My path to CAPM 3 years 2 months ago #25206

  • Elizabeth Harrin
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Great news, Pierre-Alexandre! Thanks for sharing your exam success with us.
Elizabeth Harrin

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